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New research from McMaster University suggests the pandemic has created a paradox where mental health has become both a motivator for and a barrier to physical activity. People want to be active to improve their mental health but find it difficult to exercise due to stress and anxiety, say the researchers who surveyed more than 1,600 subjects.
"Maintaining a regular exercise programme is difficult at the best of times and the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may be making it even more difficult," says Jennifer Heisz - lead author of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster.
"Even though exercise comes with the promise of reducing anxiety, many respondents felt too anxious to exercise. Likewise, although exercise reduces depression, respondents who were more depressed were less motivated to get active, and lack of motivation is a symptom of depression," she says.
With so many fantastic education and training opportunities coming up over the next few months, the focus of this E-News is on learning and development - and practical ways activity providers can grow their knowledge and skills. Find out about why regular professional development is a great investment.
Research from Sport New Zealand shows that physically active Kiwis are more likely to have good mental health. A review of international literature submitted to the New Zealand Government Inquiry into Mental Health in 2018 showed that physical activity reduces the chance of experiencing depression by 10 percent in children (5-18 years), 22 percent in adults (18-64 years) and 21 percent in older adults (65+ years).
The WHO recently launched new Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The Guidelines provide evidence-based public health recommendations for children, adolescents, adults and older adults on the amount of physical activity (frequency, intensity and duration) required to offer significant health benefits and mitigate health risks.
Recommendations are provided for the first time on the associations between sedentary behaviour and health outcomes, as well as for subpopulations, such as pregnant and postpartum women, and people living with chronic conditions or disability.
A recently published article highlighted a number of interesting points in regards to muscle-strengthening exercise. The researchers found that whilst clinical and epidemiological evidence links muscle-strengthening exercise to optimal health and well-being, over 80 percent of adults do not report meeting the muscle-strengthening exercise guidelines (≥ 2 times per week). They also found, that compared to aerobic physical activity/exercise, muscle-strengthening exercise has been generally overlooked in public health approaches for chronic disease prevention.
The Greater Christchurch Sport & Recreation Guide has undergone a significant revamp over the past few months. New branding has been developed and the website has a fresh new look. The Activities Directory - added to the Guide in 2019 - now has close to 200 class, group and programme listings. A new Events section has also been added. The next step is to start spreading the word about the Guide more widely. Over the coming months, a promotional strategy will be rolled out to encourage more Cantabrians to visit the site and make a connection with clubs, groups and providers in their area.